If I Have Joint Custody Why Am I Paying Support?

Many people are confused about what joint custody means in Illinois.

In Illinois joint custody means:

  • that the parents must consult with each other regarding:
    • education
    • religion
    • medical decisions

Joint custody does not mean:

  • custody is split 50/50
  • neither parent pays child support

So why am I paying support?

Even if you have joint custody and are splitting time 50/50, it is still possible that you will have to pay support.  Illinois has a statutory formula that is based strictly on a percentage of net income.  However, judges have the  discretion to deviate either up or down depending on the circumstances – but you must ask the court for a deviation.  It is not automatic.

If you are spending an equal amount of time with your children and paying statutory support, and your ex-spouse has a similar income (or more) you may be able to get a downward deviation which would reduce your monthly support obligation.

If you would like to see if a downward deviation might apply to your situation, please contact me.

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